A slightly less evolved version of a priest or druid, who are so astonishingly backward in religious matters that they build no big elaborate temples, refrain from fleecing their followers for all except the very basic subsistence necessities, and do not go in for all the sacrifices, big knives, rubber aprons, et c, which are the necessary trappings of modern civilized religious worship.
Instead, they believe in far more direct methods of contact with their gods, largely via the medium of ingesting dangerously large quantities of hallucinogenic substances. Their simple rustic back-to-nature approach to religion largely consists of knowing which fungi are "safe" to harvest, powder, and ingest through various bodily orifices, so as to be nearer, my Gods, to thee.
Gods of the Shamen:
- Topaxci, the God of the Red Mushroom
- Skelde, Spirit of the Smoke
- Umcherrel, the Soul of the Forest
- A box with hundreds of little legs that looks upon you without eyes (a relatively new addition to the pantheon)
Shamen appear in The Light Fantastic, where an old hand and his apprentice, whilst on a mystic quest to prevent the tops of their heads from unscrewing and blowing away in the wind, have the Mother-Goddess of all bad trips when they encounter the Luggage.
Another shamaness appearing in The Light Fantastic, as spiritual advisor to a nomadic horse-tribe, sends Rincewind, or at least his astral body, on a mystic quest to locate Twoflower and bring him back from Death's Domain. Rincewind is not happy with this, as he perceives the tenuous blue thread which is all that links him to his mortal body, and suddenly gets a very accurate appreciation of what Death's Scythe is meant to cut...